The pandemic might have ground many industries to a devastating halt, but cigar-making literally keeps rolling along. Most of the factories in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Honduras shut down briefly at various times during March, April and May, but they are now up and running again, albeit with the same changes we’re seeing everywhere—social distancing, masks, temperature checks and plenty of hand-sanitizer.
“All our rollers live in dorms on property and have been on quarantine since the middle of March,” notes Paolo Garzaroli, of Graycliff Cigar Company in the Bahamas. “They don’t roam outside the property, so they are not exposed to the virus.”
As a result of social distancing and the necessity of partial shifts, many companies are producing cigars at approximately half their pre-pandemic rate.
“We have lost some capacity with the new shift patterns,” says Diana Rojas, Altadis brand manager for H. Upmann cigars.
Some companies, such as Arturo Fuente, which began expanding their Santiago factory last year, have been able to maintain their same volume of cigars by spreading workers out into the newly remodeled spaces.
As a result, there’s no shortage of cigars or accessories for dad this Father’s Day. Here are 10 of our favorites.